Coffee : Cultivation
Coffee plants need warm humid weather, such as is found between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.
For this reason our coffee plants are grown in the African, Asian and American equatorial zones.
The Robusta variety is suitable for a range of heights and temperatures and is more resistant to diseases and parasites. The Arabica is a more delicate variety.
Cultivation needs a steady temperature between 15 and 25 degrees and a humid ground, situated in spots sheltered from the wind. The Arabica variety grows at a height of between 900 and 1200 metres, while the Robusta variety grows under 500 metres in plains. The plants could grow to a height of 10 metres, but they are usually pruned when they are approximately three metres high to allow the picking.
During the year there are two or three blooms: between the bloom and the fruit ripening may be six to fourteen months. The yearly production per plant is 1.5 – 2 kg of coffee, apart from the most modern plantations where the level of production is higher.
Field of coffee trees.
The cherry is protected by its red outer skin. Directly underneath the skin the fruit pulp is present, this is packed with redolent aromas of the coffee blossom. Below the pulp is a thin layer of pectin that envelopes the beans. This is followed by the parchment, and directly attached to the beans is a thin membrane or “silver skin.” Hidden underneath all of these protective layers lie the seeds of the coffee plant which turns into the green coffee bean.